Kevin Krueger - WGTS FM

Kevin Krueger – WGTS FM

On the surface, it’s counterintuitive: decrease your station’s income in order to increase it? Look a little deeper, and it makes perfect sense.

The Discovery:

It was probably 25 years ago. A group of us were taking a quick tour through a commercial Christian station. I had been looking forward to learning about their mission and as a young broadcaster was taken back by mission statement language that went something like this:

“Our mission is to serve our business advertisers by providing them an audience of listeners to help them sell their products and services.”

The concept took a minute to absorb. I had always worked in non-profit radio where our focus was on serving our listeners directly, but it made sense, it was their business model.

What’s your business model? How does your mission statement direct you?

The Decision:

When coming to WGTS 91.9 a year ago, I remembered that station visit years earlier. It didn’t take long to decide that in the Nation’s Capital, market #7, we would serve our listeners first–putting them above other considerations. We dove into what this would mean, how it would change our on-air content. We studied the demographics of our listening area: audience growth potential, income level of the counties we served and more.

The Process:

Over a 6-month period we removed for-profit businesses from the on-air product, offering them the opportunity to put their business on our website as a supporter of WGTS 91.9. We would do this when they make a $100 per-month recurring donation.

We also cut the spot opportunities for non-profit entities to 2 per hour and made 30 seconds the standard length. We increased the rate significantly as well, which thinned the number of sponsors and allowed the content of those that remained to really stand out.

Most importantly of all–we run everything that goes on the air through a filter: “Is this in the best interest of our listeners? Would they want to hear about this?”

Of course, there are exceptions, but they are rare, and all exceptions must go up the ladder for approval.

The Results:

By the end of 2013, our broadcast was significantly cleaner of spot interruptions, which meant more music and more talent connection opportunities.

We had removed all of the for-profit business announcements (traffic sponsors continued until the contract with the provider ended at which time those ceased as well), changed the clocks, allowing only one spot per break; 2 breaks per hour, changed entirely how we wrote and styled the non-profit entity spots that continued so they would be listener-focused and rich with listener-valued content (mostly concerts, churches, Christian schools and special events), evaluated our own “station business,” minimizing it through spots; promoting more through social media, website and talent talk.

The direction we took was affirmed by our listeners in their actual giving when in May of 2014 our Spring Fundraiser ended 39% higher than a year earlier and our Fall Fundraiser in mid-September saw similar impressive results.

Intentionally running every programming and promotion decision through the listener-focus filter has helped us make better decisions—including–killing our business underwriting program.

The Challenge:

I encourage all station leaders to get your team together and ask tough questions. Perhaps a change would benefit your listeners–and your station. Perhaps you’ll land on something totally different than we did, but I challenge you–make the tough decisions; it’s why you are entrusted with a leadership position. Pursue strategic, intentional, transformational change.

Kevin Kruegerwgtskids_06a

Vice-President/General Manager

WGTS 91.9

Washington, D.C.

Make It An Event

September 30, 2014 — Leave a comment
Bill Scott

Bill Scott

The fundraising season has begun.  I’ve already been out on the road for the last three weeks with unbelievable results.  This week I get to hang with the team from WCQR in Johnson City Tennessee.

I have seen just about every fundraiser there is to see.  I’ve been to the more music fundraisers, which by the way fail every time.  I’ve been to fundraisers were they hint that they need donations, again epic fail.  I was once told by a station manager that he preferred and I didn’t use the term pledge, donations, gifts, faith promise, as a matter of fact he told me that it would be best if I didn’t ask for money.  I don’t know how to ask for money on the air.  At the end of the day I raised more money than they had ever seen and wasn’t asked back.  True story.

Unless you are willing to make your fundraiser an event, you will not see the success you are hoping for.  Don’t down play your fundraiser.  If you are reluctant to ask for money, your listener will be reluctant to give you money.  Stand tall and make this a huge event that both you and your listeners can be proud of.  Make your fundraiser a celebration of changed lives in your community.  Make it bigger than life

Your fundraiser deserves all the promotion, bells and whistles, fun and passion that any other event gets on your station, perhaps more.  Here are a few tips for your fundraiser this year.

1.)  Make your fundraiser a huge event.  Tell your listener the dates so they can get excited about the fact that it’s coming.  Don’t try to sneak up on your listeners by not giving them dates.  That’s not an event anyone is looking forward to.

2.)  Invite listeners to your fundraising event.  Encourage your audience to stop by and see the station, grab some food, attend a special concert or whatever else you can think of that will bless them.

3.)  Run promos that are compelling.  Share stories, share how important the listener is to your station, share how huge this event is going to be.

4.)  Let your listeners hear how passionate you are about this great event.  I had a station once say that their fundraiser was necessary evil they had to do in order to stay on the air.  Ok, with that attitude you have already lost the battle.  If you don’t believe this is a great event, your listeners won’t either.

5.)  Have a blast.  Any event worth its salt is fun.  Make your event the biggest celebration of the year.   

Have an wonderful event this year.  I hope you hit your goal and do wonderful ministry.

Blurred Lines

September 18, 2014 — Leave a comment
Ben Milton

Ben Milton

You probably heard but just in case here is the big news of the week in radio.  Clear Channel changed their name to iHeart Media.  I had some mixed feelings about this to be honest.  Part of me was like “Yeah! They get it.  Be a media company and don’t tie yourself to one single distribution system.”  The other part was more of “What’s in a name?”  So let’s take a look at those two view points and how that applies to the rest of us.

AM/FM radio isn’t dead.  Not by a long shot.  It’s got millions of listeners and billions in revenue.  And yet the boys from Texas decided to rename their brand from a very inside radio name to a more digital friendly brand name.  Bob Pittman the CEO of iHeart Media will tell you that it’s because the lines are blurring between how people intake their content.  As of right now the majority of listening is still taking place on traditional radio but the fastest growth is happening digitally.   iHeart Media is clearly not afraid of the growth of digital media and in fact is embracing it.

The other side is this.  They changed their name.  Big deal.  Have they changed their business model at all?  Not really.  They are still primarily an AM/FM company.  They have big signals in big markets with big name DJ’s.  However, they have been carefully building the iHeart Radio brand for several years now.  They didn’t need to dramatically change their business model.  They’ve been building their digital footprint all along.  50 million subscribers are second in audience only to Pandora.  That’s where Bob Pittman understands and sees the blurred lines.

My question to you is this.  Are you still only a traditional radio broadcaster or have you started to look ahead like Radio Disney and iHeart Media have done?  Developing a strong digital presence doesn’t mean you have to stop doing traditional broadcasting.  Does your brand have the flexibility to blur the lines between traditional and digital?  Is your app something to really be proud of or is it in desperate need of love and attention?  What about your Facebook interaction?  Are you communicating with your audience there or are you broadcasting at them?  At the end of the day ask yourself are you a media company or a radio station.

episode Boundaries LISTEN01

Usually this blog is about radio.  I will post something this week in regards to media.  However, I wanted to post this podcast because this is something we all deal with, especially in radio.

Janet and I just recorded this podcast cast.  Today’s program is “Boundaries.”  Every one that is reading this needs to hear the program.  Without boundaries in your marriage you are at risk.  Today’s topic is very close to the heart of both Janet and me.  We believe in boundaries in our marriage.  We believe in protecting what God has given us.  I am encouraging each of you to listen to this podcast and also share it on your FaceBook and Twitter.

HUGE FAVOR:  After listening to the program, would you place go to iTunes from your computer (CLICK HERE) and RATE and REVIEW the podcast.  When we get enough reviews iTunes promotes the podcast all over their platform.  So many marriages are hurting.  This is a great tool and Janet and I would be forever grateful if you would review the program.  You will see a picture below of what you will see when you go to iTunes.

Screen Shot 2014-08-27 at 10.17.38 PM

Janet and I share stories from our marriage.  Our goal is for you to see what we have gone through, what we have learned and provide tips for your marriage. You can also listen at hour web site at Reality at Home.

Have a wonderful week.

Bill Scott

My Station Sucks

September 8, 2014 — Leave a comment
Bill Scott

Bill Scott


You might be thinking, “Bill, has anyone really said that?”  The answer is yes and you know what, that’s ok.  Everyone has to begin at some point and you need to be ok with starting small, just don’t settle for where you are at.

I have traveled the country, visited more than 100 radio stations.  I have sat in some of the most beautiful studios and in the back of garages.  Let me encourage you with a few examples of how God has taken small ministries and done wonderful things with them over the years.

Wwordfm_logo (1)ORD FM:  I’ll never forget Dave Kirby and I going to visit Dave Baker at WORD FM for their first fundraiser.  The studios were in the back of a garage.  Today many years later, they are a major player in the Northeast with wonderful studios.

Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 11.53.11 AMWGCA: The first time I met Bruce he asked me if I wanted to go to the meat truck first.  I had no earthly idea what he was talking about.  We arrived and it was a meat truck trailer sitting under a tower in a corn field.  The trailer still had the meat hooks hanging inside.  Over the years WGCA has grown to be a great radio station, making a wonderful impact on their community and have amazing studios.  As a matter of fact I am doing their fundraiser this Thursday and Friday.

Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 11.50.21 AMWAY FM:  I went to work for WAY FM in Fort Myers, their only station at the time.  I remember Bob Augsburg telling me at times, don’t buy anything, we have no money.  After more then two decades, WAY FM has grown to be a major network impacting the nation with beautiful studios in many cities.


WPER: For years Frankie and the gang have broadcasted out of a double wide trailer in Northern VA.  They have been faithful and in the next few weeks are moving into their own 5,000 square foot building that is state of the art.

Screen Shot 2014-09-06 at 11.52.27 AMKLRC:  I began working with Sean and the team 20 years ago.  We started in what we called a big closet.  It was so small, every time I turned around my butt cleaned the windows LOL.  I watched them move out of that very small space, two rooms, to their own building on the campus of John Brown University.  It was a very old building but it was a huge improvement.  Just a couple of years ago, they moved off campus to one of the coolest studio’s I’ve ever seen, not to mention winning the station of the year a couple of times from CMB.  All of that to say, they were faithful in the small things so God has given them more to work with.  It didn’t happen over night, it’s been two decades.  Sean was ok with being small but didn’t settle for where he was at and neither did his team.

I could continue to tell you story after story.  All of the above began with very humble beginnings.  They had to learn to be ok with that but not settle for where they were.  Beyond that they needed a plan.   Here are 5 tips that will help you get started.

  1. Define the vision of your radio ministry in writing.
  2. Put together a 1 year plan and a 5 year plan.  If you want to go crazy, map out the next 10 years.
  3. Write down some baby steps you and your team can take.  Some times we want to go from A-Z and become so overwhelmed because that simply isn’t possible, so we do nothing.
  4. Bring someone in from the outside to take a look at your organization and begin to coach you through the process.  I don’t care who you are, outside coaching is something your station needs.
  5. Not least but last, build a team.  Unless you actually are leading a team you’ll never make great strides.  I love team building.  I’m talking to a station about helping their staff become a team so they can do great things in the future.

Be ok with where you are, but don’t settle.  As you begin the journey I think you’ll be surprised at what God will do for your station over the coming years.  Be faithful to your calling and impact your community.

If you ever need help with your station, I would love to partner with you.  Contact me.

CMB HandShake

September 1, 2014 — Leave a comment
Bill Scott

Bill Scott

The CMB conference is the largest of its kind for Christian radio.  It’s awesome to attend, learn more about radio and of course catch up with old radio friends.

So do you know what the CMB handshake is?  My guess is some of you already have it figured out.  It’s when you are shaking someones hand while looking around them to see if there is someone more important you should be talking to.  Be honest, you’ve seen this happen or have actually done this yourself.  To be honest, I am sure that I’ve done this once or twice.  So I have two words for this years CMB in regards to the official handshake, “STOP IT.”  Networking is so important, I get that but let’s show each other some respect and really enjoy getting to know someone new in our industry or catch up with an old friend…even if they don’t have anything to offer us other than good conversation.  

Can I encourage you to look for someone to minister to?  Some of those attending CMB this year will be hurting.  It could be their personal life, perhaps their station is going through challenging time etc…  Look for the chance to take someone out for coffee.  You might be the encouragement they need during the conference.  Look for a chance to offer wisdom or just pray for them.  Perhaps find someone you can help mentor through the upcoming year.

Let’s make sure this fantastic week we’ve been given isn’t all about show biz.  We are called to minister to our communities to spread the love of Christ.  We are attending to learn how to do that better, how to be great stewards of what God has given us.  Enjoy the fun, the gifts, seminars and at the same time be looking for ways to encourage one another.  Let’s go home educated, inspired and with a special touch from the Lord.

Let me close with a funny top 10 list that Dave Kirby and I put together for you this year.


10. The Sneak Peak: You know….. it’s where you walk up to someone, you know them but forgot their name, so carefully you try to look down to read their badge.  You always get caught!

09. The Pitiful Look: This always comes from those who didn’t book in time and they are staying at the Beach Club.

08. The Non Fan Look:  You are sitting in the lobby and your favorite artist walks passed you…… you try to look as those you don’t notice them and it’s not a big deal.

07.The Lobby Dwellers:  You know…the ones who never actually go to any of the sessions.  Oooops

06. The Undercover Drinkers:  They try to find a place to grab a beer and yet have no one see them.

05. The Disappointing Box Lunch:  All of the new CMB folks are so excited for the amazing lunches at the conference only to realize it’s a box lunch.

04. Double Booked:  You realized you have booked yourself for two lunch meetings at the same time.

03. The Night of Joy Rip Off:  You bum someone’s CMB badge so you can get your kid into Night of Joy for free.

02 The Record Company Secret Club:  It’s were the record company has a secret album listening party during the CMB sessions and you are swore to secrecy.

01. To Cool for School:  These are the people that always stand in the back because they are too cool to actually sit at a table.

Engage Your Listeners

August 26, 2014 — Leave a comment
Bill Scott

Bill Scott

Most of the time radio is background noise.  This is the reason we have to repeat everything many times over.

When it comes to your fundraising event, you have limited time to get your listeners attention.  Think about the competition your station has even when the radio is on.  Your listeners have kids in the car, they are receiving text messages, pictures, talking on the phone and the list goes on.  Gone are the days when the listeners got into the car and they were all ours for the full commute.  

Pattern interrupters are your biggest friend.  What do I mean by that?  I mean do something you wouldn’t normally do on your station.  If your fundraiser sounds just like your normal on air sound, more than likely your listeners are not paying attention.  You have to jolt them back into listening.  At times I’ll let the song run out, so it’s not the normal stinking tight radio we were all taught to do.  After that I might begin the break with, “I bet you didn’t wake up this morning thinking you would be a hero?”  Engage your listener quickly, get them thinking.  Don’t be afraid to have the long awkward pause on the radio.  Again, you are trying to jolt them back into paying attention.  Ask them a question so they have to respond at least with their thinking.  It works and it works really well.

At times hype will get your listeners attention.  It has to be real hype, nothing fake.  If you have something exciting, rock it.  At times having a ministry hour during your event is exactly what’s needed to get your listeners attention.  Here’s a great example.  At a station this spring, 8am, morning drive, I decided instead of the normal crazy high paced morning drive fundraising sound, we would go for a ministry hour.  I really felt this was the right move for the event.  We called it our hour of faith.  The hour included stories of those who had stepped out by faith, scripture about faith etc…  This is not a name it and claim, mark it and park it hour but it is about faith.  The end result, a number of friends called in with a faith gift and 20 percent of the goal was raised in that one hour, $165,000.  The ministry that took place during that fundraising was absolutely amazing.  We engaged the listeners and the pay off was huge.  At one fundraiser I was at we gave away an 80 inch TV that was donated and again, we got the listeners attention and the end result was incredible.  Have fun and don’t be afraid to minister during your fundraiser either.

Don’t assume that your listeners are hanging on every word that you are saying.  Their life is busy, complicated, stressful and you are often background noise.  You have less than 10 seconds to engage your listeners with something of interest before losing them.

Living in the radio bubble it’s hard to imagine that our listeners can actually miss all the talk about your upcoming concert or even fundraiser.  My wife and I don’t live in the radio bubble and it’s really eye opening.  One of our local stations had one of it’s biggest events of the year recently.  Next to their fundraiser, I am sure this is their biggest event.  Some how I missed every promo, every announcer talking about the event, any interviews related to this huge event.  I only knew it was happening because someone posted on facebook.  I asked my wife if she had heard anything about this wonderful event coming and she hadn’t heard anything about it either.  In all fairness to the station, I am sure they played promos, they talked about it until they were blue in the face, my guess is they did interviews, perhaps a big contest surrounding the event.  All I am trying to say is, even though I have the radio on, my phone rings, I am talking to my wife, I have kids in the back seat of my truck and to be honest, the radio station is just background noise unless you engage me in some manner.  

All of this to say, plan your breaks for your fundraiser.  Engage your listener quickly.  Remember, you are competing with life and that’s a huge competitor.   

Ben Milton

Ben Milton

You know the old question about a tree falling in the forest?  My radio version of that is “How do you call yourself Radio Disney if you don’t have any radio stations?”  I know, they still have 1 FM in LA but the recent decision to shed 23 of its terrestrial signals begs the question, are they still in the “Radio Business”?  More importantly, are you still in the “Radio Business”?

My reaction when I heard the news wasn’t that of dismissal or justification for keeping the FM signal that the station I work for has.  It was “What do they know I don’t?”  This is Disney we are talking about.  They own some of the biggest names in content.  We are talking about the guys who own Star Wars, Marvel, ESPN and so on.   Why would they shed a distribution system for their own content in such a dramatic fashion?

The answer came to me as so many answers come to me, in the form of research.  Not my research.  Not the research of any of the industry insiders I know or follow.  It came in the press release that Radio Disney put out.  There was only one number I needed to see and it all made sense.

18% of their listeners consumed their content via AM and FM.  That’s a telling number.  Not an insignificant number.  But with any research it’s important to not only look at the number but to look at the trend.  Numbers can lie.  Trends usually don’t.  I don’t know for sure but I believe that Radio Disney was watching that trend very carefully over the last couple of years.

I think what happened is Radio Disney watched that trend and decided it was no longer profitable to be in the “Radio Business”.  They decided they are in the “Content Business”.  I don’t blame them.  I want to be like them.  Who cares what technology you use as long as you have someone on the other end that finds value in it and consumes it?

I think we got so enamored with being in the “Radio Business” that we forgot it’s really about content and not delivery systems.  I don’t want to be in the “Radio Business” and foolishly insist that listeners find me on only 1 system that doesn’t necessarily match up to their lifestyles.  I think we should be aggressively looking at ways to get our content out to the public.  We have great personalities waiting to be discovered by people on a national and global level and yet limit ourselves to local terrestrial signals like they are life itself.  It’s about content not a delivery system.  If you have great content you should make it available to everyone.

I worked as an engineer for many years within the industry.  I wasn’t very good at it but I do know one thing, those transmitters and towers are expensive!  What if you were in Radio Disney’s situation and a majority of you listeners consumed your content on a platform that cost you a fraction of what that transmitter, tower lease, electric bill and engineer cost you?  From a purely business standpoint that sounds great!  Why shouldn’t we all be racing to make our internet claim?  The only reason is a stubborn failure to let go of a technology in favor of content.  We love being in the “Radio Business”.

I know it’s going to take a lot of work.  We have to figure out how to monetize and attract listeners.  But it’s being done already.  Until now we never had a company make a successful transition to the web and satellite.   Radio Disney has broken the 4 minute mile.  Rather than dismissing them as foolish we should seriously investigate how and why they made that transition.  Then take a good hard look at our own content and business model and decide what business we are in.

One of the great things about Disney is that their stories have happy endings.  I think they just warned us that being in the “Radio Business” is not going to lead to that picture perfect Disney ending.  Get back to making great content and get it out to as many people as you can.  We are all in the “Mass Media Business” aren’t we?

Ben Milton

Bill Scott

Bill Scott

If your station hasn’t begun to push electronic giving, you are way behind the curve.  The good news is it’s never to late to begin.  If you are already pushing for electronic gifts, this article will help you go to the next level.

Depending on who you are listening to, the following stats should encourage you to really push electronic giving.  For those donors who commit to sending you a monthly check, on average you receive 5-9 of the 12 checks you are hoping for.  With electronic giving it’s 12 out of 12 the vast majority of the time.  I hit up Jeff Scott, Sean Sawatzky and Kevin Krueger about how electronic giving has impacted their station.   I have to be honest with you, I am not really surprised by what they have written for us today.  I’ve been at every fundraiser KLRC has had over the last 20 years, I’ve known Jeff Scott for years and have worked with Kevin for over a decade.  I can actually remember when these radio guys decided to move toward electronic giving as their primary way of giving for their donors.

Jeff Scott, Manager for WBGL FM

Jeff Scott - WBGL

Jeff Scott – WBGL

“We receive 55% of our funds, electronically.  That includes EFT and credit cards.  Our retention rate is much higher because of electronic giving and we don’t experience the traditional “summer slump” in giving that we use to.  Both of our on air fund raisers have become more like friend raisers trying to engage new and lapsed donors.  Having a system that watches expiration dates and proactively notifies donors of their upcoming out of date cards is not only a service to the donor, but also imperative to a successful bottom line.”


Sean Sawatzky – KLRC

Sean Sawatzky, General Manager for KLRC FM

“It’s hard to think of a single thing that has more positively impacted our giving program than electronic giving.  We’ve offered credit card, debit card, and bank draft giving for years, but it used to be a secondary payment method for us.  Today, when a donor calls during Sharathon, the assumption is that they’re going to give electronically.  We’ve adapted our software and phone volunteer training to make credit/debit card giving the first option we present donors after they’ve called to make a pledge.   In our most recent pledge drive, 78% of our monthly donors chose to give electronically.  This number has grown a little more every year.  There’s an increasing comfort level among consumers when it comes to paying for things electronically and this can translate into great benefits for ministries like ours. 

The first benefit is pretty obvious – our monthly fulfillment has increased significantly.  But, we’ve seen other benefits as well.  Remember those summer slump months?  Those are nowhere the challenge today that they used to be.  You know how hard we all work to get pledge renewals before our pledge drives?  We’re starting each Sharathon stronger than the last because electronic donors understand that they’re providing an ongoing, sustaining level of support – support that you can count on before the on-air portion of Sharathon begins.

The best part is that donors share in these benefits.  We’re better stewards of their gift because we’re not using the resources we once used in order to collect their monthly gifts.  Their monthly giving is greatly simplified and has an even greater Kingdom impact, which is why they’re giving to begin with.  It truly is win-win.”    

Kevin Krueger, Vice President/General Manager for WGTS FM

Kevin Krueger - WGTS FM

Kevin Krueger

“Making it easy for listeners to give monthly through a recurring EFT or CC donation has changed our ministry significantly. The huge “bumps” in the monthly giving chart coinciding with our on-air fundraisers have smoothed out a lot. This makes our accounting department happy and it makes me ecstatic. From a planning perspective it allows us to manage God’s funds more strategically. It provides stability.”

There are a few different ways you can encourage your listeners to begin transferring over to debit, credit card EFT during your events.

On-Air:  During your fundraiser you’ll want to use the term electronic giving, EZ Give or something close to that when asking for a monthly gifts.  I would strongly encourage you to make these on going gifts.  Why in the Sam heck would you put an end date on a donation?  You ask your listeners for monthly on going support that’s electronic.  You can assure them they have total control over their donation at any time.  Many of your listeners will put their monthly gift on card and never think about it again.

Call Center:  The volunteers in your call center play a huge roll in making sure the electronic giving actually takes place.  Keep in mind 80 percent of homes that have the internet pay at least one bill online and that was back in 2009.  Needless to say, electronic giving has gone mainstream.  So when your operator answers the call, have them ask the listener what card they would like to place that on?  It’s amazing how many people will grab a debit or credit card to make their donation.  If the listener requests to give by check, you of course can make that happen and everyone is happy.  One phrase comes to mind when I see an operator taking an electronic gift is, “Boom Shakalaka.”  That Hebrew for God has provided or just a weird Bill Scott phrase LOL.

Give Them Something:  Having a gift that is associated with a monthly electronic donation can really get people excited.  As a matter of fact I have an item today that your station should really, and again I say really, consider.  This could really help shape your next fundraiser for some great results for your electronic monthly giving.

The Ultimate Bundle:  I would give this awesome gift to each person that does $30 a month donation on credit card.  If they are currently giving by check, I would ask them to make the switch and the gift is theirs.  Here is the cool thing, it’s sent to them electronically, they can actually have their gift within 15 minutes of donating.  What is The Ultimate Bundle?  It’s $700 worth of timeless, modern and high-demand e-books and content.  This works with the IRS 2% rule as well.  I can explain that if you are interested when you call.  The great thing is you don’t have to pay for this until your fundraiser is finished.  More great news, the bundle only cost your station $10.40 and that includes the service and support to your donors.  Just think, an investment of $10.40 can get you a $360 credit card donation leaving your station with 349.60 profit and a donor who gives monthly on their credit card.  Keep in mind payment is not required until 24 hours after your fundraiser or after submitting a CSV list of your donors that you want to send the bundle too.  Your listeners info will not be shared with anyone, I know that’s a huge deal for your station.  I love it because this will encourage your listeners to give $30 a month on credit card or whatever price you set.  You don’t have to package and mail the gift after your fundraiser and you don’t have to pay for it before your fundraiser.  Look, I’ve done over 600 fundraisers at over 100 stations and when I saw this I got excited.  It’s not too late to tap into this before your Fall fundraiser.  Email me at or just call my direct line at 615-525-5570 and I can get you all the info and have you signed up in no time.  I am personally excited to get out on the road to use this with clients this fall.   Let’s chat this week.  If you get my voicemail, just leave me a message.  As I write this, all I hear in my head is CHA-CHING!  I love tools that encourage your listeners to get involved with your station at a deeper level.

As we enter the Fall fundraising season, it shouldn’t be business as usual.  Lets look for things we can do in order to enhance your next fundraiser.  Little adjustments here and there can make a huge difference for your station financially.

Lets roll!

How To Beat KLOVE

August 11, 2014 — 3 Comments
Bill Scott

Bill Scott

Either you are dealing with KLOVE in your market or you are fearing the day that they’ll sign on.  Just about everyone realizes the growth that KLOVE and Air1 has seen over the last decade is  nothing short of amazing.  With tens of millions of weekly listeners, you must admit they are doing something right.  I would even go as far as giving KLOVE credit for raising the bar for Christian radio.  I think they have raised the bar so high it often makes others angry, feel it’s simply out of reach or live in fear of what it might do to their radio station.

So the question is this?  How do you beat KLOVE?  Can you actually beat KLOVE when they sign on in your market.  For many of you it’s not if but when they do.  I think the good news in today’s article is I believe not only can you survive but you can thrive with KLOVE in your market.

I’ve asked a couple of radio friends to write about their experience with KLOVE in their market and how they handled the challenge.  I think you can gain some real insight to their experiences.

Bill Sammons from the Bridge in DE.  ”Our station finally signed on the air in December 2010 after a 13 year process with the FCC.  Contemporary Christian Music was coming back to the area at 88.7 FM!   Three months later, it also came to 105.5 and 92.1 as KLOVE purchased two signals in our market from Clear Channel and we went from 0 to 3 CCM stations overnight.

At first, we kind of freaked out.  We were a new, small, locally-owned ministry with almost no cash.  And here comes the well-financed, experienced, major market sounding giants.  They were giving away personal concerts from artists that we couldn’t even get CD’s from.   How were we supposed to compete with that?

We soon realized KLOVE wasn’t our enemy.  Would we have preferred they not move into the neighborhood?  Of course.  

There is no way we can compete with KLOVE.  So we don’t try. We basically ignore them and work to program our station the best we can.  If anything, KLOVE has made us better.  They make us think about what we are doing every minute of the day…knowing that if what we are playing is not the best song or element, if it is not interesting and relevant, our listeners have the option to push a button and leave us.  That is the reality even if you do not have a KLOVE in your market.  KLOVE just forces us to realize it.  

KLOVE forces us to get out in the community.  To buy billboards and TV commercials.  To talk about local things.  To hire a meteorologist for local weather forecasts.  To be honest, we would do these things anyway….because I am not really competing against KLOVE.  I am competing against CAT Country, and Froggy 99 and Q105.  I want their listeners.  3 and a half years into this, our philosophy seems to be working.  Honestly, we no longer talk about KLOVE.  We rarely listen, never play songs just because they are and we are solidly beating them in the ratings in our ten county TSA.   Program your station to be a great radio station regardless of who else is in your market.  Be a good steward of your frequency and ask God to use you, and He will.”   

Kevin Kruger formally of Positive Life Radio in Walla Wally WA and currently Vice President/General Manager, WGTS 91.9 had this to say.

“Sometimes we need a new question. It’s easy to fixate on KLOVE if you’re a CCM station that’s been in town for years and they suddenly show up in town. It’s wise to be aware of market dynamics, but worrying all the time about what someone else is doing is energy and time not spent on making your station the best it can be. 

When KLOVE came to my town (years and years ago), it was hard. Many of our listeners initially left us for them. We looked carefully at our business model. We acknowledged that there were things KLOVE could do that we couldn’t. But we had passionate and very talented people in our building. We had a better understanding of the local market and sought external coaching to help us implement programming and community involvement to successfully compete. But our focus was not on beating KLOVE. Our focus was on being the best station we could be – being the station we felt God had called us to be.

To bring it down to specifics:

- we tweaked our AC playlist just slightly to specifically appeal to our local audience

- we implemented community service programs assisting trusted local organizations

- we pushed ourselves as on-air talent and sought outside help to improve ourselves

- we celebrated and gave extra attention to churches, businesses and listeners who loved us. When others saw what was happening, they came on-board.

- we acknowledged that it was short-sighted to believe that KLOVE was our main competition. In reality, the data told us that other mainstream stations were our main radio competitors and that in truth, our competition is anything that grabs attention – mind share – of potential listeners. 

Know your spiritual calling. Know your community. Research and discover a business plan and implement it with everything you’ve got. Be excited, after all, we get to do radio! Talk about a fun and rewarding career!”

My goal with today’s article is to help all those who are dealing with KLOVE or another Christian station in your market.  I felt it was only fair to reach out to KLOVE for some insight and the first name that came to my mind was Alan Mason.  

Alan Mason – KLOVE

“If you have a strong local tie to your listeners and community and a high level of professionalism, there’s nothing to fear from K-LOVE coming into your market.  A syndicated format out of California should never beat a local station with an emotional connection to the listeners.”

Alan nails it.  The problem is we are finding more and more local stations that don’t have a local emotional connection with their listeners and that is a huge problem.

I think at the end of the day, it’s not about beating KLOVE, it’s about being the best radio station that God has called you to be.  Asking God for a unique vision for your community and following after it with all the passion you have.  

If you play the KLOVE game you’ll lose.  Perhaps God has called you to a different game, one that will allow you to impact your staff and listeners in an unbelievable way.  I often encourage clients to turn off KLOVE and focus on what God has given you.   True you may have to change your ‘business as usual’ strategy, you may have to get some outside coaching and you may even have to work harder than before but at the end of the day you can win, not by beating KLOVE but by being the best you can be.